Community Asset Transfer

The transfer of land or buildings from a public body (usually a local authority) to a community based organisation at less than market value.

Community Asset Transfer is the transfer of management and/or ownership of public land and buildings from its owner (usually a local authority) to a community organisation (such as a Development Trust, a Community Interest Company or a social enterprise) for less than market value – to achieve a local social, economic or environmental benefit.

Thousands of buildings and spaces across England, such as swimming pools, town halls, libraries and parks, have all been taken on and successfully managed by community organisations for the benefit of their local community.

There are several legal options for Community Asset Transfer, but most tend to be long term leasehold arrangements (25+ years at a ‘peppercorn’ rent) to enable external funding to be secured, although a shorter term might be more appropriate as a ‘stepping stone’ to a more substantial agreement in the future.

Where do I start?

Communities who are interested in Community Asset Transfer should contact their local authority’s property department in the first instance to discuss where they should start.

In most cases community organisations will be required to submit an expression of interest and, if the local authority accepts it, a more detailed business plan will be required to show that the organisation is ready and able to successfully manage the land or building in the long term.